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Caught Drink Driving

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 20 Jun 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Drink Driving Blood Alcohol Level Breath

The police can stop you if they suspect you are driving under the influence of alcohol. Also, if the police suspect you are about to drive a vehicle (for instance you have your keys in your hands and are just leaving a pub) you can also be stopped and asked to take a drink-driving test. You may also be asked to take a breath test if you are involved in a road traffic accident.

There are three general drink-driving offences:

  • Being in charge of a vehicle when you are over the legal alcohol limit.
  • Driving a vehicle whilst over the legal alcohol limit.
  • When stopped by the police failing to give a breath test.

At the Roadside

The first test that you will take after the police have stopped you will be a breath test. You are breaking the law if you refuse to take a breath test, but if you do refuse you will be arrested and taken to a police station where a sample of your blood or urine will be taken for testing. Note that only a doctor can take a sample of your blood, and only with your consent.

At the Police Station

When you arrive at the police station two samples will be taken. The lowest reading will be used as evidence in your case. You should be given a printout of the alcohol level that has been detected for your own records. Usually the samples are just breath samples, but the police can request that you give a blood or urine sample. This may happen if you are unable to give a breath sample, as you are too drunk. Also, the police may not have a breath device or a qualified officer to operate it available. A doctor may also have informed the police that your condition may be because of drugs and not alcohol.

What Happens if I am Charged?

If your alcohol tests are positive you will be told your rights and cautioned about anything you say can be used in evidence against you. The details of your offence will be recorded on your charge sheet that you will have to sign. You will be given a copy for your records. You will then be free to go and expected to appear at the court at the stated date and time on your charge sheet.

The Penalties

If you are found guilty of drink-driving the penalties are:
  • A ban from driving for at least 1 year.
  • A fine of up to £5,000.
  • Between 3 and 11 points to be put on your licence.
  • A prison sentence of up to 6 months.

What are the Legal Alcohol Levels?

You can be found guilty of drink driving if you have the following levels of alcohol in your blood:
  • 35 microgrammes of alcohol in a100 millilitres of your breath.
  • 80 milligrammes of alcohol in a 100 millilitres of your blood.
  • 107 milligrammes of alcohol in a 100 millilitres of your urine.

Note that if one of the two breath tests you will take is below 39 microgrammes you will not be charged. If your breath test is between 40 and 50 microgrammes you must be offered the chance to give an alternative blood or urine specimen. However, if your breath test is over 51 microgrammes you will be automatically charged and face an appearance in court.

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My son was arrested for drink driving blew 40 and was taken to police station they took blood and released him in the morning saying he has to wait for a letter , this is his first crime hes committed ,what is he expecting to get he co operated in a positive manner.
Carl1 - 11-Jun-19 @ 11:04 AM
My partner blew a 71 but was taken to a&e and was given a blood test around 5 hours after first blowing. Would it have dropped enough by then for him to pass??
Arw - 8-Jun-19 @ 1:46 PM
Hi after abit I’d advice I blew 70 at the station after crashing my car I didn’t think I was over the limit it was stupid of me I have a good job and care for my mom iv had a rough few weeks I’m scared I will go to prison
Key - 3-Jun-19 @ 12:24 AM
On my charge sheet it said failed to provide a breath test without reason and nothing else even though two further breath tests were taken 4/5 hours later, but I wasn’t given the results verbally or written. Should I have been given theses results on my charge sheet that I signed? When I failed the breath test three times because I couldn’t blow long enough I was told that this happens and not to worry. When I read that I’d failed to do the breath test without reason the officer just said to mention it in court. Can you explain?
Pip - 29-May-19 @ 10:45 AM
I stupidly drank and drove. I was not pulled over but concerned that the pub has me on cctv drinking and then driving off. Can I still be charged?
Johnboy - 26-May-19 @ 4:05 PM
I was pulled over by a police officer because he said that I’d had a slight wobble. He asked if I’d had a drink and I said that I’d had two small glasses of wine. He didn’t have a breathalyser with hi and so he took me to the police station. I did three breathing tests but I failed to do them for long enough. I asked them what this means and what would happen next. I was informed that this sometimes happens and not to worry. I was given an information sheet that explained what happened but when I read that I’d failed to do a breath test without reason I questioned this, because I know that this wasn’t true. The officer said to point this out in court. I then found out that this warrants an instant ban. I have a Ventolin inhaler and had all this been explained to me at the time I would have mentioned it, but I was lead to believe that I shouldn’t worry. Can you advise ? Thank you.
Pip - 25-May-19 @ 11:57 AM
Police do not have to offer an alternative blood or urine sample if you blow between 40-50 anymore. It’s sufficient to charge.
Edward - 5-May-19 @ 9:15 PM
I tested at 44 on both tests at the station and wasn’t offered an alternative blood or urine test. We this work in my favour at court? Thank you
RD - 3-May-19 @ 2:12 PM
Had few drinks the night before. Woke up in the morning and felt alright. Drove home and the fault of the car had caused the crashed. I couldn’t control it. Then first step was to called the police. They arrived and want to breath me and blew 65. At the station then blew 72. Both readings are different. This is also my first drink drive conviction too. Have clean license for 18 years. What will happen to me when arrive at court please? Thank you
Gooner - 1-May-19 @ 1:21 PM
Caught drink driving blew a 40, first driving offence, fully co-operated with the police. Got court may the 7th, you say if you blow 40-50 they need to do a urine test or blood test, didn’t do either. What’s likely to be the outcome?
Tom - 24-Apr-19 @ 12:12 AM
Arrested for driving under influence of alcohol. Reading 74 Microgrammes of Alcohol in 100 millilitres. The recordings were not printed and I was not given a copy of the reading. This was taken at 09:3415/04/19 in the morning and I was not driving the vehicle when arrested I was suspended for drinking and driving on 09/2009 for being DD at 41mg and have held a clean license since. I was on antidepressants and painkillers on the morning of 15/04/19 and I wasn’t aware I was over the prescibed limit of alcohol as felt fine but suffering from a panic attack
Mark - 21-Apr-19 @ 1:47 AM
I was arrested for drink driving I wasnt driving the car I was parked up the engine was on as I had the heating on but when I was given my sheet for the reading the highest was 44 lowest was 33 I was charged and got go to court is this right as the readings wasnt even high
Jj - 20-Apr-19 @ 8:01 PM
"Note that if one of the two breath tests you will take is below 39 microgrammes you will not be charged. If your breath test is between 40 and 50 microgrammes you must be offered the chance to give an alternative blood or urine specimen. However, if your breath test is over 51 microgrammes you will be automatically charged and face an appearance in court." If I wasnt offered this could it void the charge
JOHN - 9-Apr-19 @ 3:21 PM
"Note that if one of the two breath tests you will take is below 39 microgrammes you will not be charged. If your breath test is between 40 and 50 microgrammes you must be offered the chance to give an alternative blood or urine specimen. However, if your breath test is over 51 microgrammes you will be automatically charged and face an appearance in court."
JOHN - 9-Apr-19 @ 3:20 PM
I passed my test 2 month ago, I stupidly risked driving whilst under the influence of alcohol aye crashed into a bollard damaged my car quite badly, got pulled over blew into the breathalyser 3x and failed do it properly so officers put it down too me not cooperating so has on my charge sheet failed to give specimen. Drink driving and resisting arrest what will I get I have no previous driving offences. Any help or advice would be appreciated
Gavw - 7-Apr-19 @ 6:13 PM
I was arrested for drink driving, I blew 72 and then 70 It’s my first ever offence and have a clean license, what will I get?
Nic - 1-Apr-19 @ 7:39 AM
I foolishly drunk drove hit a parked car left the scene and was arrested outside my house I’m being charged with leaving scene and failing to provide a specimen It’s my first driving offence I feel so awful I’ve let everyone down as well as causing inconvenience to the other car ownerwhat will happen to me I feel so depressed
Stupid - 4-Mar-19 @ 7:19 PM
I was charged with a drink driving offence blew 54 got to attend court in February this is my first conviction with the police ever what am I likely to receive
Stevo - 21-Jan-19 @ 3:16 PM
I got pulled over failed the roadside breath test so then was taken to the police station where I was breathalysed again and blew 43 and 41 they took my lower reading on the charge sheet is says my reply was” I would like a blood test” however the police didn’t give me one? Now I have a court date on the 28/11/18 and am very confused on why they didn’t give me a blood test
Aakash - 22-Nov-18 @ 10:59 PM
Fool - Your Question:
I have just been caught drinking driving and blow 55 1st offence what would I get if I say guilty. Is it a years ban and a fine.

Our Response:
Please see the link here, which will answer your question more fully.
CourtroomAdvice - 14-Jun-18 @ 10:08 AM
I have just been caught drinking driving and blow 55 1st offence what would I get if I say guilty.Is it a years ban and a fine .
Fool - 13-Jun-18 @ 3:29 PM
I blow 137 on my breath test? What will happen? It's my 2 time in 6 years
Rafael1980 - 13-May-18 @ 10:17 PM
This statement in the article is incorrect: 'If your breath test is between 40 and 50 microgrammes you must be offered the chance to give an alternative blood or urine specimen' The requirement to provide the option to provide a blood or urine sample was abolished some time ago. It was originally there to allow for machine inaccuracy but as technology and accuracy has improved, the blood/urine option between 40 and 50 microgrammes has been removed.
Jimmy D - 8-May-18 @ 4:44 PM
Judda - Your Question:
I blow 40 in my breath test what will happen can't afford to lose my license as I'm a lgv driver I have no points and no other conviction worried and feeling stupid.

Our Response:
You can see the link here, which will give you a reliable estimation of what sentence you can expect to receive.
CourtroomAdvice - 1-May-18 @ 2:14 PM
I blow 40 in my breath test what will happen can't afford to lose my license as I'm a lgv driver I have no points and no other conviction worried and feeling stupid.
Judda - 30-Apr-18 @ 9:00 AM
Chef - Your Question:
Hey I was pulled over outside my house last night blew 73 and got court date on 18th it’s my first offence I feel pretty bad and really stupid for doing it. What will I get I won’t go to prison for this. Thanks

Our Response:
The drink driving penalty calculator link here provides a reliable estimation of what you can expect to receive upon conviction of drink driving at Magistrates' Court in England and Wales. However, as the article also states, the courts do have the discretion to deviate from the guidelines where there is evidence of extreme and/or multiple mitigating or aggravating factors surrounding a particular case (e.g. a serious road traffic collision).
CourtroomAdvice - 26-Feb-18 @ 10:15 AM
Sorry was meant to ask if I will go to prison as I’m freaking out about it. Many thanks
Chef - 25-Feb-18 @ 3:00 PM
Hey I was pulled over outside my house last night blew 73 and got court date on 18th it’s my first offence I feel pretty bad and really stupid for doing it. What will I get I won’t go to prison for this. Thanks
Chef - 25-Feb-18 @ 2:58 PM
Its done now theres not alot you can do until court.??I v been to court second time after blowing 3 times over in 11 years. When you go it might be worth speaki g to the duty solicitor.Where they sit you can roughly tell you what they aregoing to do. When i went in they put me in the box and low and behold of to prision i went for 2 months where as the first time i sat behind my solicitor.Its a scarey situation.When you go just be aware that you might be going home a bit later than you think.Bring someone with you.It will all depend on the day and evedence.The prision side was not as bad as i thought it would be BUT its not something that i would recommend.It was hard being away from family and not being able to sort out any issues at home but you keeppositive knowing that you will be home soon.
Sillygirl - 18-Feb-18 @ 12:33 PM
@Sangu - see a solicitor. If you were drunk in charge of a care, it doesn't matter if it is a car park or out on the open road, it's still considered illegal to drink and drive.
OllieN - 6-Feb-18 @ 2:44 PM
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